Strike preparedness 101

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Union and your bargaining committee are looking to determine the level of support that the membership has for a fair contract. By voting yes, you are demonstrating to your Union that you stand in solidarity with your co-workers in fighting for a better deal. Your personal information will be kept confidential and your Employer will never know how you or any individual member voted (Unless of course you vote 100% in favour). 

A strike is when a group of workers who are looking to improve their wages and workplace protections withdraw their labour and picket the premise of their Employer to improve terms of employment like wages and workplace benefits.

If a strike vote is conducted, then it will be done online. You will receive an email from your Union with confidential voting requirements. Remember to be sure that your email is up to date with your Union.

Generally speaking, if the members vote strongly in favour of a strike, then your Employer will offer to continue negotiations by improving their last offer. Your Union will return to the negotiating table if your Employer’s offer is genuine, in the hopes that a strike can be avoided, and a fair agreement reached without the need to go on strike.

At this point, your bargaining committee would meet with your Union representatives to discuss the best strategy. The most likely outcome is that a 72-hour strike notice will be given to your Employer.

The Employer will again have the opportunity to reach out to your Union to continue negotiations and avoid job action. If after 72-hours’ notice, further talks do not happen, then your Union will be in the position to strike.

If a strike occurs, members of the bargaining unit and union staff would work together to establish a strike committee and set up a picketing schedule. You will be notified of the time that the strike begins and when and where to picket, including picket protocols. Members will be expected to participate in the strike through picketing and other supportive actions as needed.

provide bi-weekly picket pay starting no later than two weeks after the date that picketing begins, as per the UFCW picket policy. 

If there are members who are unable to participate directly in picketing the minimum number of hours required to receive picket pay for accessibility or other reasons, they will need to communicate with the strike committee to determine eligibility.

There are many possible outcomes to a strike, the most likely being that the Employer will request a return to the negotiating table with a revised offer that they believe would be satisfactory to the employees. Your bargaining committee would be available to receive any genuine offers and if satisfactory, the terms of your Employer’s offer would then be brought back to all employees for a ratification vote. 

If strike action becomes necessary, your Union will use every tool in the toolbox to bring the full support of labour and the public to help you win a better deal. Your union has communications and organizing professionals that will craft an outreach and public communications strategy.  This strategy would include outreach to local labour groups, non-profit organizations, press releases and other similar tactics.